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Seeing the fate and mechanism of stem cells in treatment of ionizing radiation-induced injury using highly near-infrared emissive AIE dots

Yang, Cuihong, Ni, Xiang, Mao, Duo, Ren, Chunhua, Liu, Jinjian, Gao, Yang, Ding, Dan, Liu, Jianfeng
Biomaterials 2019 v.188 pp. 107-117
adverse effects, biocompatibility, endothelial cells, fluorescence, in vivo studies, ionizing radiation, mice, nanotechnology, neoplasms, patients, radiotherapy, stem cells
Ionizing radiation-induced skin injury is a common and severe side effect of radiotherapy suffered by cancer patients. Although the therapy using stem cells has been demonstrated to be effective, fully grasping their role in the repair of radiation-induced skin damage remains challenging owing to the lack of highly reliable cell trackers. Herein, we report the design and synthesis of a highly near-infrared emissive organic nanodots with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristic, which give excellent performance in seeing the fate and regenerative mechanism of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in treatment of radiation-induced skin injury. The resultant AIE dots show a rather high quantum yield of 33% in aqueous media, prominent retention ability in ADSCs without leakage, good biocompatibility during the ADSC differentiation and proliferation as well as excellent injury relief capability on radiation-induced endothelial cells injury. In vivo studies reveal that the AIE dots are capable of serving as an effective fluorescent cell tracker to precisely trace the behavior of the transplanted ADSCs in radiation-induced skin injury-bearing mice and help to understand the ADSCs therapeutic mechanism for at least one month. This study will provide new materials and insights into the stem cell therapy of radiation-induced injury.